Meet The Team.
Name: Steve Jones
Steve has volunteered as Sports Chaplain to the Ospreys Rugby Region for the past seven seasons , a position that was brokered by the national charity Sports Chaplaincy UK, for whom he now works two days a week.
Steve's rugby playing career as a scrum half never got him further than playing for Bargoed Youth and the Rhymney Valley District teams, but still he retains a real interest in rugby. His interest in and passion for wheelchair rugby was ignited when he first saw the sport in the London 2012 Paralympics where he was working in the Athletes Village as a chaplain.
He is delighted that the Ospreys region have adopted the South Wales Pirates wheelchair rugby team into the Ospreys family and is excited for the future development of the wheelchair version of the game in Wales.
In 2011 Steve was one of the tournament Chaplains at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. In 2008 he acted as Chaplain to the under 20s French National squad at the Junior World Cup; He speaks French fluently, but only a little Welsh.
He has also served as one of a team of sports chaplains at the following major sports tournaments:-
The International Paralympic World Athletics Championships 2013 in Lyon , France
The Rugby League World Cup 2013 in England & Wales
The Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014
The International Paralympic European
Athletics Championships 2014 in Swansea.
Name: Paul Jenkins
Role: Head Coach
Paul Jenkins better known as Jinx has been involved in wheelchair rugby for 24 years. Beginning as a player for the South Wales Pirates in 1990 and within the year selected for the GB team. He then went on to represent them at the 1996 Atlanta games.
In 2004 Paul started his career as a coach for the Pirates leading them to League and National championships. In 2014 Paul was given the opportunity to coach the GB invictus wheelchair rugby team, who went on to win the gold medal. recently Paul won Wales Sports Personality of the year Coach to Disabled People.
Name: Keith Jones
Keith is passionate about sport, before his injury he played volleyball for wales at junior and senior level. After a spinal cord injury Keith's sporting career continued, he represented GB in snooker and table tennis in the Seoul Olympics. Keith later went on to play wheelchair rugby with his career with GB lasting 11 years.
In 1989 Keith was involved in the startup of the Pirates wheelchair team, and went on to win a number of national tournaments.
Name: Sam Lloyd
Sam broke his neck 7 years ago in Spain when he dived into the sea and hit a sand bank. Whilst in hospital he was introduced to wheelchair rugby by assistant coach Keith Jones. Prior to Sam’s injury he was very active and fit and wanted to maintain this.
Sam has found wheelchair rugby a great way to get fit again and and meet people in a similar situation.
“It's a very tactical game and a great way to channel your pent up aggression”
Name: David Anthony
Dave was born with a condition called Muscular Dystrophy. At the age of 14 Dave was unable to walk due to a number of operations.
Dave has experience in a number of wheelchair sports, football and archery are a few examples until he made the decision to stick with wheelchair rugby.
In 2008 Dave was selected to represent the GB team where he has competed at two european championships, one world championship and at the London 2012 paralympics.
Before his injury Richard had recently turned professional with his boxing and was ranked 15th in the UK. He has also represented Wales in the Commonwealth Games 1994 reaching the quarter finals.
During his 14 years playing wheelchair rugby Richard has represented both England and Wales at international tournaments and played for the GB development squad.
“After boxing and playing rugby all my life, I had to get into a contact sport. Wheelchair rugby is as physical as it gets in a wheelchair, so that was the sport for me”
Ieuan has only been playing wheelchair rugby for 2 years, during this time he has represented Wales at the Treat Trust cup along with being part of the 2013 Pirates team that won nationals. He is a player who enjoys the complexity and the contact aspects of the sport.
Ieuan is a player that wants to improve his skill set and gameplay at the Ospreys and has the ambition to become a member of the GB team.
Name: David Durston
David is an experienced member of the team he has been playing wheelchair rugby for 13 years with the South Wales Pirates.
This David will be spending this season on loan to help set up a new team in Gloucester. David is now coaches and player for Gloucester Rugby, but still trains with the Ospreys team.
Name: Matthew Wills
Matthew has recently joined the team, after being involved in a motorbike accident in 2013 and sustaining a spinal cord injury.
Since starting the sport Matthew has found it to be really enjoyable, it's given him the opportunity to meet others in a similar situation.
“it’s good fun and I play to keep fit”
Name: Gareth Stokes
Gareth has be playing wheelchair rugby for 26 years and is the last remaining player still playing from when the then Pirates were formed.
During his 26 years Gareth represented the GB team and in the 1998 Development Games won gold.
Gareth really enjoys the team element that wheelchair rugby provides as well as fitness and travel opportunities.
“I shall try to keep playing for as long as my body lets me”
Name: Fran Jenkins
Fran is a nurse at the Cardiff Spinal Rehabilitation Unit and became interested in wheelchair rugby through her job and watching a GB match in Cardiff. Whilst watching the sport Fran was amazed constantly by the skill, commitment, passion and enthusiasm from the players.
“A great sport played by determined people who can achieve the unthinkable”
Name: Deb Herbert
Role: Support staff
Deb got involved with the team through her work as a qualified nurse in the Spinal Unit at Rookwood hospital. At work, Deb has always been dedicated in supporting patients to get involved in sport, social and communitiy activities as part of their rehab, and through this Deb has become an advocate for wheelchair rugby and dedicates her spare time volunteering with the team as a member of support staff.
“I had seen it on TV but watching it in person was amazing. I was hooked”
Name : Martyn Langmead
Role : Welfare Officer